UAlbany Faculty Showcase Broad Spectrum of Minority Health Disparities Research

University Leverages Transdisciplinary Approach to Tackle Critical Issue

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 27, 2016) – The University at Albany has been awarded a $10 million endowment from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address building the capacity of graduate students, faculty and researchers in health disparities from minority populations and underrepresented groups.

Larry Schell
CEMHD Director Lawrence Schell, the co-PI who is leading a number of transdisciplinary faculty in the new $10 million research initiative into health disparities. (Photo by Paul Miller)

While the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD), a collaborative effort focusing on minority health disparities in the smaller cities and towns of New York, will lead the initiative, the transdisciplinary nature of this endeavor will encompass nearly 50 UAlbany faculty in six of the UAlbany’s nine schools and colleges.

Learn more about how the endowment positions UAlbany as the leading Northeast hub for health disparities education and research.

The following are some of the key UAlbany faculty experts involved in this initiative:

  • Lawrence A. Schell, director of CEMHD: Schell is also a professor in the departments of Anthropology and Epidemiology and Biostatistics it the College of Arts and Sciences. His research on environmental health focuses on the physical growth and development of children, particularly the effects of pollutants among disadvantaged groups. Put in anthropological terms, his research concerns adaptation, or lack thereof, to urbanism.
  • Frank Dillon, School of Education: Dillon’s research addresses health disparities and mental health issues affecting racial, ethnic, and sexual minority groups in the United States. His principal research interests include the study of cultural and social determinants of health including substance use disorders and HIV risk behaviors; and the promotion of multicultural competent counseling research and practice.
  • Julia Hastings, School of Public Health, School of Social Welfare: Hasting’s research interests cover health and mental health disparities among ethnic minority populations, African-American mental health, welfare participation dynamics, and ethnic minority women’s health issues. Her projects focus on the relationships between race, mental health outcomes, health conditions, risk and protective factors, and poverty.
  • Rabi Musah, College of Arts and Sciences: Musah is an associate professor of chemistry and currently serves as the director for UAlbany's Center for Achievement, Retention and Student Success. The Center is a support service that was created to provide free academic assistance to intended or declared science majors. CARSS has tapped into the resource of experienced students on campus who want to help their peers, and has provided them with additional formalized training on how to explain complex concepts in biology, chemistry and physics to students who are currently enrolled in those courses.
  • William Alex Pridemore, School of Criminal Justice: Pridemore’s research interests include the impact of social structure on homicide and suicide rates, role of alcohol in violence and mortality, and sociology of health and illness. He has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on grants totaling more than $2.5 million, and his research has been funded by National Institutes of Health, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, National Institute of Justice, and American Sociological Association/National Science Foundation.
  • Blanca Ramos, School of Social Welfare: Ramos is an expert on n cross-cultural social work, gerontology, and domestic violence with a focus on US Latinos. She teaches courses on clinical social work, diversity, immigrants, Hispanic cultures in the U.S., and research in Latino communities. Her international work includes partnership building with higher education institutions and communities and with the national association of social workers in Peru.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.